As Whanganui adjusts to the new normal coming out of Covid-19 restrictions, the cycling community doesn't want them to give up on all the gains they've made on their people-powered vehicles.

Velo Ronny's Bicycle Store has created the 'Tour de Whanganui', which encourages cyclists and people who used their lockdown to get out on bikes, scooters and rollerblades to keep at it for the chance to win prizes.

The store has outlined three loops of various lengths - 4.6km, 7.3km and 10.8km - which self-propelled wheeled vehicles can make around the city bridges on the established cycling route.

You then record how many laps you did of your specific route, and send the entry form into Velo Ronny or any of the Tour's sponsors.

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Entries close on June 8, at which point the store will draw random winners of the Tour's prizes, which includes a bike valued at up to $599, fitted to suit the individual winner's needs.

Other spot prizes include cycling helmets, lights, mirrors, as well as vouchers and concession cards from the local businesses who are sponsoring the event.

The more laps you do, the more entries you have.

"We wanted to do something for the community because it's been overwhelming...how many people are on bikes during the lockdown, it's pretty cool," said organiser Cath Cheatley.

"Our bike parks are awesome, they could be even better.

"We just wanted to do something to encourage people to keep doing what they're doing, not when we go to Level 2 just stop those good habits, like riding with families, taking time to exercise.

"It's the [Whanganui] River loop, so you're all on the trail, off the roads.

"You ride as many loops, as many times as you want during the three week period, then you fill in your record sheet with how many laps you've done, so it is an honesty thing.

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"There's no winner for the most laps, it's just hey, if you complete one lap, that's awesome, if you complete one lap of each loop, that's even better.

"It's anything with people powered wheels."

Cheatley said they will also accept entries from anyone who completes laps on foot, as a way to encourage families to take part as parents perhaps supervise their children on scooters.

You can also receive extra entries to the draw if you post pictures of doing the Tour on social media with the hastag #tourdewhanganui2020 and
#GoByBike.

"It's been pretty cool, the uptake so far, with the social media, the post's had about 9000 reach so far," said Cheatley.

"We've got a cool community here, things are never going to be the same again for some people, it's just a time to enjoy riding bikes.

"Giving people a reason, it's amazing what people would do. The support of local businesses has been awesome."

Cath Cheatley.
Cath Cheatley.

Having grown up in the era when many young people would cycle to school and social events - a time which has since passed with a generation used to short walks and cars - Cheatley hoped an up-tick of cyclists on the loops would spread to other areas of the township.

This would also help motorists and pedestrians adjust to seeing more cyclists on the roads and in public areas, so everyone could reaquait themselves with the safety etiquettes like keeping left and being watchful.

"Hopefully, the more people that are riding, motorists will be more respectful of riders.

"Ultimately, we'll do it every year. Next year when the bridge is finished we might loop up to the bridge and stuff like that."

Pick up or download online a record sheet from Velo Ronny's or the supporting businesses, and return it with your results to the Wilson Street store by June 8.

"The more loops you do, the more entries you get, I'll have a big spreadsheet, and the bigger loops are worth more entries," said Cheatley.